Lure your Valentine with the sweet smell of pizza cologne - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Lure your Valentine with the sweet smell of pizza cologne

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By Tracy Saelinger, TODAY contributor

If the smell from that pizza box sitting on the front seat drives you wild, start dropping hints to your sweetie: Pizza Hut is giving away its new Eau de Pizza Hut cologne in time for Valentine's Day.

The scent actually began as a joke on the company's Facebook fan page in Canada, as reported in December, but the company soon produced a prototype.

Pizza Hut Canada's scent started off sweeter — more doughy — but the new version, available for the first time in the U.S. this week, is move savory, with a "base scent of freshly rising dough" and finishes of "oregano, vine-ripened tomato sauce and crisp fresh-sliced vegetables" with "wafts of cheesy goodness," Chris Fuller, a spokesperson for the company, told

The fragrance is not yet available for purchase. "We'd rather sell the real deal," Fuller joked — though the company is evaluating demand. In the meantime, Pizza Hut is giving away 72 bottles of the stuff this week via a Twitter contest. To try to get your hands on one, tweet your most impassioned plea to the company by Wednesday using the hashtag #lastminutelovers. Winners will receive a $20 gift card as well as a bottle of Eau de Pizza Hut. Aphrodisiac effect not guaranteed.

To make the scent, designers at Aromachology in New York City, a custom-perfume bar, ordered tons of pizza and took samples of the fragrance out on the street to make sure they had it right, said co-founder Ashlee Firsten. Even the most die-hard pizza fans in the office had to swear off pies for a few weeks, she said.

The pizza cologne is just the latest example of a larger "ambient scenting" trend, explained fragrance expert Sue Phillips, founder and president of Scenterprises. Supermarkets, malls and hotels are pumping food smells into the air more and more, she says; her company recently created a roast turkey aroma that wafted into deli aisles.

And let's not forget, there was that Whopper-scented body spray that Burger King put out a few years back. It's all part of the plan to get us to open our wallets, Phillips added. "It's that Pavlovian dog syndrome."

But guys, before you douse yourself in Eau de Pizza Hut on Thursday, you may want to listen to Tony Gemignani, the 11-time world pizza-throwing champion and owner of four California pizzerias.

"I've come home from work smelling like pizza every day for 22 years," he said, "and my wife always complains."

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